The Grapes of Wrath

Themes and Style of the Writings of John Steinbeck 11th Grade

John Steinbeck’s novels The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men enable readers to capture a glimpse of the time of the Great Depression in the United States. In The Grapes of Wrath, the Joad family of Oklahoma, accompanied by thousands of other farming families, travels across America to chase a dream that lies in California. Their dream is to attain jobs and prosper off of their own land once again. However, they find only disappointments in California, with all of the work already taken and the poverty just as severe as it was in Oklahoma. In Of Mice and Men, the two main characters, George and Lennie, build a powerful friendship as they migrate to California for work. Out of love and compassion, George devotes himself to protecting Lennie from their hardhearted society, as Lennie suffers from a mental handicap and often finds himself in trouble. Although the novels are organized in different stylistic forms, Steinbeck uses the themes of pursuing the American dream, developing compassion for others, the importance of unification, and the mass hardship and suffering in life in both The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

In both novels, the theme of the American dream is present. In the heart of the Great Depression, Steinbeck...

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